by: Heather Bradley   12/15/2011

I have done a complete 180 when it comes to a game plan for fantasy football, if you consider the fact that I entered my league with no game plan.   At my fantasy football draft party for the first annual "Show Me Your TDs" league, I was really most concerned with my new special meatball recipe and breaking out the "skinny girl" margaritas for all to enjoy. 

Looking back, I wish I had known more about individual football players and really took the draft seriously.  However, this is my chance to prepare for next season and make my Christmas Wish list for an all-star fantasy football team.  Here we go:

Quarterback: Tom Brady

In real life, the quarterback is the most important player on the team.  In fantasy fake life, quarterbacks seem to mean basically nothing. I have started Michael Vick, Ryan Fitzpatrick and John Beck.  They all gave me a consistent amount of points each week, but the only one who tried to ruin my life is Michael Vick.

Vick is a risky guy, and I am learning in fantasy football that risky guys lead to trouble.  His "risks" led to multiple interceptions throughout the season, which apparently translates in fantasy football to "negative" points.  Yes, at one point I remember looking at my score and noticing that I had (-5) points. I almost threw my phone against the wall when I received some sage advice from the boyfriend of a fellow "Show Me Your TDs" competitor:

                "Heather, stop constantly checking you scores.  Put your phone away, be patient, and check      your final score on Tuesday morning.  It's just like waking up on Christmas morning."

A consistent (non-risky) quarterback will most likely throw a bunch of completed passes and a touchdown here and there, which means you end up with a good amount of fantasy points.  So since I have discovered that quarterbacks are basically all good and interchangeable in fantasy life, I'll go with Tom Brady since he is at least "interesting" to watch.*

I also love Tom Brady because he brought the drama last Sunday against the Redskins.  The more football turns into an episode of "The Housewives of Beverly Hills," the more I love it. 

This occurred when Tom Brady yelled, screamed, and practically went MMA on his offensive coordinator after he threw an interception and almost lost to the Redskins.  You can't blame him though. If I was an all-star quarterback, I would throw a hissy fit too, especially if there was a threat that Rex Grossman was better than me. 

The weird part is that after almost punching Tom Brady's beautiful face, this offensive coordinator and Brady were best friends again something like five minutes later! It was like nothing ever happened.  If something like this happened on a "Housewives" episode, it would have lasted for many seasons down the road.  Women are pretty tough.*

Running Back #1: Arian Foster

Although I had to ask my husband what position Arian Foster plays, I know he is good.  I remember being in an airport a few months ago waiting for a flight and noticing some ruckus going on with all the men around me. It had nothing to do with me -- it was Arian Foster.  He had just scored like 100 points in fantasy and apparently everyone surrounding me had him on their team and was going nuts. 

At this point, I didn't even know who my running back was on my team and prayed that I had this Foster guy.  Unfortunately I didn't, and even more unfortunate for me -- my opponent did.

RB #2: Maurice Jones-Drew

Guess what? I already have him on my team! Jones-Drew was my only good decision when it came to fantasy football.  Yes, it may or may not be true that my husband drafted him for me, but all that matters now is that I love him and he makes me very happy. He managed to score 40 points last Sunday in fantasy and that's just the kind of guy he is.  He's reliable yet flies under the radar.  I had never even heard of him before this fantasy stuff and now I want to marry him.  I wonder if grown men who play fantasy feel this way about him too?

I do want to give a shout out to Acckk-med Bradshaw (please refer to my previous blog A Woman's Take on Fantasy Football.) He is on my fantasy team and a great running back as well, but I don't think I can have three running backs on my team...or can I?

Wide Receiver: Calvin Johnson

He just seems amazing.  The confusing thing is that it seems defensive players just figured this out.  They now have two guys covering him at all times.  Does that mean that there is one guy who is always open on the Lions?*

The player lucky enough to have him in the "Show Me Your TDs" league is a player named "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" and I am convinced the only reason she is going to win our league is because of Johnson alone. OHH, look at me SMACK-talking! I'm a true competitor now!

Speaking of smack talk, there are smack boards that players can use to "talk" to each other each week.  I attempted to make use out of these boards and noticed a trend in my comments.  It went a little something like this:

Pre-season: I'm going to kill all of you!

Week 1:  Sorry 'Boogies for Mama' for CRUSHING you, 'Ngata Gonna Happen' YOU'RE NEXT!

Week 2:  No one worry about my pitiful score yet- I still have Vick to play! (I ended up with 53 points total after Vick played)

Week 4: I hate football (lost by .5 points)

I never smack talked again.

Defense: Who Cares

Throughout this whole season, the defense aspect made no sense to me.  I had the Lions and the Bears defenses on my team.  I noticed every week before the football games even started, my defense had a random number of points already scored, like 18 or 31.  Then as the games started, these points steadily declined to 8 or 0.  Why don't the defenses accumulate points instead of lose points?  

I also have no idea what constitutes the defense losing points.  Sometimes the Lions defense would do a great job, keep the other team under control and I would end the day with two points. Then other times the Lions defense would suck and I ended up with 20 points.  Maybe getting defensive points in fantasy football operates on an "opposite day" sort of scoring system.*

Tight End: Chris Cooley

I know Chris Cooley is not really a factor anymore and possibly not even playing anymore, but this is my wish list and I wish that the Cooley we all know and love was back again and playing on my team.  I miss screaming, "Coooooley," I miss his good looks and witty banter off the field, and I miss having a tight end on my team who's name I can pronounce (Remember I have Visanthe Shiancoe-the unpronounceable name-player but all around consistent guy).

I think I am supposed to have a kicker and some other important positions, but I am confident that by simply having Foster, Johnson, Brady, Drew-Jones, and two-years ago Cooley, that this is the ultimate Christmas Wish list for an all-star fantasy football team that would destroy any competition they encounter. 



Author's note to family members, friends  and husband:

This article about my Christmas Wish list is fictional.  Don't get it twisted that I actually want a good fantasy football team for Christmas. Obviously, the XBox/Kinect Bundle with the Black Eyed Peas Experience and maybe a Coach bag top my list.

Editor’s Note to everyone:

* Disclaimer: Unless explicitly stated otherwise, which it’s not, the statements and opinions expressed in this article reflect the author’s personal views and do not imply endorsement by this organization.